Meet Schmooru: The Un-Network Co-op for TV on the Internet They Wanted to Save Media, They Made Schmooru, the TV Un-Network for the Internet Meet Schmooru: The Un-Network Co-op for TV on the Internet They Wanted to Save Media, They Made Schmooru, the TV Un-Network for the Internet
Culture

Meet Schmooru: The Un-Network Co-op for TV on the Internet They Wanted to Save Media, They Made Schmooru, the TV Un-Network for the Internet

by Alex Goldmark

March 12, 2011

Unfiltered creative television on the internet.

Schmooru is a network, and it distributes things that resemble TV shows. But it's more like the un-network in the TV sense.

About two years ago a group of talented and scrappy media producers decided to save their industry, or at least find a way to make money by making media they loved at a time when everything seemed to be collapsing. Several of these upstarts had helped devise the savvy social media strategy for the Obama campaign. Others were freelancers rising in their related fields. They joined forces and made Schmooru.

They're big idea was to create a collective that actually made things as well as earned employment for members in higher paying freelance gigs.

Now, they're quietly launching a curated "Season" of the best work to come out of the co-op. Dan Beckmann is one of the founders. He thinks loose networks with low cost niche programming is one of the futures of media, as explained in a recent email announcing the launch:

Schmooru.com is one way for our community to make things that we think enough people will enjoy to keep us making them, but we don't need MEGA TONS to make it work, nor do we want them... as long as we get to keep making the things we want for the people who enjoy them—we're a RAGING success!

All the shows for this TV on the internet adventure are short and snappy—less than eight minutes. There's a documentary series, two food shows, an outdoors show about Montana, a video advice column, as well as a couple animated offerings including Immigrantz, pictured above, where "hijinks ensue on the U.S.-Mexico border as one man resorts to increasingly elaborate measures in his fight to ebb the tide of immigration."

Beckmann thinks this is sustainable because Schmooru strips out the usual costs of network production. "Our model is that we're looking for small, sustainable dedicated audiences for these shows. If they each get a solid following, we don't have to stoop to lowest common denominator and essentially, the dream of the internet lives on in each of us."

Admirable, and enviable. Schmooru is currently a closed community of creatives, but they'll will be opening up applications for new shows soon.

Recently on GOOD
The
Daily
GOOD
Sign up to receive the best of GOOD delivered to your inbox each and every weekday
Meet Schmooru: The Un-Network Co-op for TV on the Internet They Wanted to Save Media, They Made Schmooru, the TV Un-Network for the Internet